I observe also a disposition to plant cotton the coming season. Several thousand bales are still in the vicinity, which I have directed General Trapier to notify the people must be destroyed rather than permitted to fall into the hands of the enemy. The four pieces of siege artillery now at Saint Mark's I have directed to be withdrawn, as no troops are to be retained there. They will be forwarded to Fort Gadsden.
I respectfully renew the request that General Trapier be authorized to retain a sufficient number of arms from those landed at New Smyrna to equip the unarmed troops mustered into the Confederate service for the war. It is represented to me by Governor Milton that if arms could be issued to troops called out by the State, there would be no desire to retain Confederate forces, and that a feeling of security would be engendered which does not now exist.
In bringing this subject to the consideration of the Department I would add, that it a system of guerrilla warfare should be instituted in a country so sparsely settled as is Florida, it would probably result in great suffering to many unprotected families. Unless, therefore, the district of country liable to incursions of the enemy be entirely abandoned by the people, I have advised the governor to discountenance such mode of warfare.
I have the honor to transmit herewith a copy of a communication addressed to myself by General Trapier, showing the regiments and separate corps to be transferred, as also those to remain in the State, under the present instructions of the War Department.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. C. PEMBERTON,
HDQRS. PROV. FORCES, DEPT. EAST AND MIDDLE FLA., Tallahassee, March 16, 1862.
Major General J. C. PEMBERTON, P. A. C. S.
Commanding Dept.of S. C., Ga., and Middle and East Fla.:
GENERAL: I have the honor very respectfully to inform you that, in obedience to instructions from General R. E. Lee, the Twenty-fourth Mississippi Regiment, Colonel Dowd, and the First Regiment Florida Cavalry, Colonel Davis, are now under orders to proceed to Tennessee, and will leave as soon as transportation can be furnished.
The remaining troops in this district to proceed hereafter to Tennessee under the same instructions will be-
[Twelve-months:] Third Regiment Florida Volunteers, colonel Dilworth, now at Baldwin.
[Twelve-months:] Fourth Regiment Florida Volunteers, Colonel Hopkins, now at Sanderson.
Fifth Regiment Florida Volunteers [for the war], in camp of instructions; not yet fully organized.
Martin's light battery, six pieces.
Gamble's battery, three pieced, not equipped.
The troops to remain [in] Florida, by your direction, for service on the Apalachicola River, and for scouts, couriers, &c., are the First Florida Special Battalion, six companies, Major Hopkins.
Baya's company of artillery [independent].
Dunham's light battery.